Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Nonfat Chai, Please

I'm having to do this from a coffeeshop since the internet moved out with Kansas. My home is very empty now. And quiet. Even emptier and quieter without internet. But I'll fix that on Monday. Soon my abode will be filled with the laughter and childish voices of funnyordie.com and youtube. I know what's important in life, don't you think I don't.

When I asked the coffeeshop dude in the derby (I'm not sure it's actually a derby, but it's some kind of fancy hat that a lot of jazz basists seem to sport), anyway, when I asked him if this place had WiFi he was like "of course". And then he made made me a chai. With nonfat milk. And he spilled some of it on the counter. But that's not important. What is important is that I am able to blog for at least as long as my battery lasts (about an hour) because these old dirty hippy victorian houses don't have an overabundance of outlets. Selfish.

I've spent the whole weekend going to various happy hours and soccer games and generally boozing and laughing my way around the city. There's always something to do here, despite the fact that it's not Seattle. I don't get the big todo about Seattle. It's just like Portland, only there are more hills and longer distances between the cool neighborhoods. As a lazy cyclist (which is precisely what I am), I find this offensive. Plus it rains more. 9 months out of the year here in Portland...so any more than that is just stupid. And that's what Seattle is to me. Even if Radiohead is playing there this summer and not here. I'm trying really hard not to take that personally.

The fact of the matter is, people pee themselves on a regular basis over this dumb city. And by pee themselves, I mean they pass through on a road trip or what have you, go home, quit their jobs, leave everything they know and move here. This happens on a regular basis. Belive me, I've done the research. 1 out of 10 people I meet are transplants and they all have the same fucking story. "Visited here and fell in love with the place". Yeah, that means they came here in summer. The other three seasons are a different story.

I've been trying to leave this town my entire life. New Orleans was a good place to start, but I moved back here right after college due to some...situations. Condsidering the hurricane a few years later, it probably wasn't the worst decision I've ever made (despite the fact that I moved back to Oregon when it had the worst unemployment rate in the country...because I do clever things like that). Since I've been back these 5 years, I've come to terms with the fact that this is an acceptable city. I've embraced the bike culture, become attuned to the difference between an IPA and and Amber Ale (which is NOT called an AA...and I think that's a shame) and most heartily ebraced the pub theaters even more tightly (until they had to ask me to stop), found a music scene that jives well with my style...etc. The size is still a factor given my unlucky habit of running into old boyfriends or bad dates that I never called back. But it usually happens with a drink in hand, so I can usually keep it graceful.

Anyway, this isn't meant to be a travel brochure. Do not take this as an invitation for you all to come visit. Because if you do, I know what will happen. And there's no more room.

I really don't have the right to be so self-righteous about being a 'native'. Me pappy hails from San Fran. But he knew what was up in the 60s and moved here all early-like to go to college. Smart man. But Mom...Mom's from Tillamook. The land of the best cheese known to civilization. They also have a race there every year at the county fair where you grab a greased up piglet and have to start and drive a Ford Model-T around in a circle without dropping the pig. That's class. But that means I'm almost 2nd generation. It means I was here when St. Helen's blew (granted I was 3 months old and it's actually in Washington, but Portland got ashed to shit), and when Goonies was filmed, and when the Blazers didn't suck, and when Tanya Harding introduced ice skating to henchmen, and when Keiko joined the aquarium, and when Modest Mouse was $5 to see live, and when Gus Van Sant got a DUI and of course when St. Helens blew up again just a little. That was fucking weird. So I guess that right there is my justification of self-righteousness. I win.

The end.
I would just like to add - last Saturday it was 75 degrees. Right now it's snowing outside. You can't tell me this place doesn't suck just a little.

19 keep(s) me blogging:

Robert the Skeptic said...

Ok, Fact check time:
1. It's far more cool to be able to tell people you were "born" in San Francisco than to tell them you live there.

2. Nobody likes living in Seattle... NOBODY. (but they will never admit it publicly)

3. Portland doesn't suck, it "draws".

BTW St. Helens blew three months after you were born. Connect the dots, kid.

AxAtlas said...

Yes! You finally blogged about us transplants! Thank you! I was waiting for this.
1st, you should thank my people and I because we helped contribute to your kick booty entry.
2nd, I find this city more comfy than where I'm from and all the other cities I checked out. I was aware of this town's negatives before I moved here....just find it comfy to continue with my goings on in me life.
2nd subscript a, yeah the rain...yada yada yada, but where I'm from, when it rains, it floods. I like the rain. Color me insane in da membrain.
3rd, transplants also include some homeless people who choose to be homeless to be off the grid.
4th, I'm still confused on why Radiohead ain't playing here.

Gorilla Bananas said...

"There's no place like home", as Dorothy said. Shit, she was from Kansas, shouldn't have mentioned her. Living in the shadow of a live volcano is quite cool, in a mad Pompeiish kind of way. Your mayor should work on a Roman theme for the town, with orgies and stuff.

Mary Witzl said...

I had a cousin in Portland when St Helens blew. She said hanging out clothes was a real pain in the neck for the next couple of months. But my God, you are young! Or wait, maybe -- no, never mind.

Although I thought Seattle was okay, I didn't want to live there, despite the rain (which I love). Vancouver was the place I really fell in love with: they have a Chinatown, and many, many dim sum restaurants. I would happily up sticks and move to Vancouver, pushing out any natives who got in my way. Just kidding, of course, but only just.

Kara said...

dad - i don't know what picture the dots are making? is it a bunny? a schooner? what?!?!

ax - freak.

goranas - i just enjoyed that you brought of the state of Kansas and orgies in the same comment. 10 points for Gryffendor!

mary - hanging clothes?! we've had dryers in Oregon for going on 40 years now! what was her deal? was she a hippie? she was, wasn't she.

nic said...

Okay, it's been nice here for the last couple weeks. I like my home now that it's spring. Before that I was considering moving out there (but I have to fall in love with the place first, so I should come visit). But not if your weather is going to be that stoopid. I want no more snow. do not want!

I see you like chai. I like chai.

And I was born in Kalamazoo. My mom's from Columbus, and my dad's from Escanaba.

Uh-huh. I know, wtf.

The Future said...

Well, history was just made. I never thought you would admit such a thing in your life. I thought you were bound and determined to not let this place see your dust as you rushed away again. I wonder what caused this turnabout; a job you like (sort of), lots of friends, always stuff to do, how close you are to the beach, the river, the mountains (nah, you never go there), how close you are to wine country, or all of the above? (I don't know how to make the cool multiple choice thingy.)
Oh, and you forgot to mention you have also embraced the scooter brigade. You have definitely joined the two wheel counterculture.

The Future said...

What is that a picture of at the bottom of your blog anyway? Maybe I should put on my glasses? Nah, didn't help.

AxAtlas said...

Oh yeah? Well, well the Fez Ballroom's 80s dance party is better than Lola's Room's 80s dance party! So like take that! And cheese is yum.

Cathy said...

I have a boyfriend who has a sister who keeps threatening to move to Portland. That would make 3 more transplants (including husband and child) and various hangers-on going to visit (that'd be me and my boyfriend).

I'd heard it rains alot there - but 9 months? That's worse than England.

theWaif said...

Also while Stand By Me was filmed, don't forget. And what about that dumb one with Keanu Reeves, My Own Private Idaho, that was filmed here too, wasn't it? I think it was, and I am rarely ever wrong, as you well know.

But if I may make one correction, when St. Helens blew up last time (just a little) you were actually not here to witness it. You were in Great Britain and Ireland at the time doing druidish dances around large stone monoliths. I know this because I was there and I witnessed such acts as they occurred.

Probably a good thing you were absent, too, or else it might well have been a much bigger eruption. The volcano gods don't tolerate your presence well, for some reason.

Mary Witzl said...

No, she wasn't a hippie -- far, far from it! Now you've got me wondering. Why DID she hang out clothes?

Kara said...

nic - i'm hoping some day soon that we get some spring here. hasn't happened yet. chai and lavender make the world go 'round. and so do we, apparently.

future - yeah, but scooters aren't a Portland thing i don't think. i could take it with me to chicago or des moines...or missoula. but i wouldn't, 'cause those places are dumb. ps: that's tillamook cheese, lady!

cathy - well, it's broken up with sunshine in between. but yes...you could get preggo and have the baby before the warm weather returns. weird huh.

waif - were were not. we were here. i saw it on my way home from work or some junk.

mary - yeah, you're going to have to solve this mystery.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I would like to be able to hang our washing out because the huge amount of electricity and money we'd save. Our neighbourhood association says a big fat no though - even if the line is way in the back of the garden where nobody will ever ever see it but me.

Chai is filthy stuff - stop it or your palms will go hairy or something.

Anyway, I'm sold on Portland. It's supposed to be one of the most liveable cities in the nation, I've read.

One day I'm coming up there to pester you.

Wait!...Kara!...Come back!

Orhan Kahn said...

Why do I feel like I have totally missed something here?? Dammit woman.

Kara said...

sam - one of the most liveable cities? what a weird concept. shouldn't all cities strive to be liveable?

or - i don't know...what do you feel like you've missed?

Orhan Kahn said...

I understand that there was a break up between you and Kansas but did you move out of town? Have you recently moved or am I just simply retarded?

Kara said...

you're retarded. i'm just bitching about seattle. i'm still in portland.

Orhan Kahn said...

Dammit.